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Sad Speculative Fiction

~

Eventually, you’ll get tired of looking at all the crumpled paper cluttering what used to be your desk. Eventually, the coffee you made for yourself in your tiny room will run out, and you’ll get frustrated for no specific reason. Eventually, you’ll wonder what day it is, because you forgot to check your calendar and you just want an excuse to be lazy for a while. Either way, you’ll end up questioning the world and its choices—not that I’ve made any significantly better ones. 

The family which lived here before were all-teeth smilers, high-heel-wearers, toddler-bearing gumdrop parents. I used to wish that I would have a life like that, like the pink tutu girl and her hair ribbons. But there are no more pink tutus in 307, Hawthorne Blvd. There are many plain walls and empty days that all start and end the same. 

Once the stillness of a cramp settles over me, I usually walk it off, pace around my room, tap the window pane, maybe hoping someone will see me, and wave back. It’s not like that ever happens, but sometimes, living in your own fantasy world is better than facing the world outside the window. 

The thing about life is this…you’re free to think, but you can’t think freely. Each thought is welcome to enter your mind, but it constrains you, limits you, angers you. Now that I think of it, being a human, living a life is a lot like that, full of weird parables nobody understands. And so are pandemics, in a way. Pandemics are harder to predict, though. I’ve blocked all the parables from the who-knows-where-it-came-from-probably-the-government-is-spying-on-me website anyways. 

Of course, then they’re the times when the number of tissue paper boxes seizes your record-breaking amount of tried and inscribed papers littering your desk, and you have no choice but to grab the cane and shuffle for the trash can, hopefully getting there and back sooner than later. For someone who hates parables and pink tutus so much, I tend to philosophize during most of my downtime. 

Sometimes my voice sounds worse than the scratchy record-player I keep in here for no definite reason. I yell at the radio for pleasure, but if you ask me, yelling during the covid cases data whatnot is more fulfilling, even if my voice does sound like a scratchy record player. Sometimes, writing a will is harder than dying, 

Because you know you’re dying, and life is just being mean, having you write it out on a poster for everyone to read. 

~

My grandma always blamed the curse. The curse of the time grandpop left the radiator running all week for the vacation they took and the ghost of the house started haunting the family forever. It’s a stupid curse. She was never good at telling stories, but maybe she just wanted something to blame everything on. It was easier than taking full responsibility anyways. I wish I could blame a real curse. 

When I was younger, I told myself a story to keep myself from worrying about exams or speeches, or scary monsters underneath the bed. The world is so big, the universe infinite and expanding, so full of nebulas and galaxies and exoplanets—that I am literally less than a speck of dust compared to the universe, and one onstage speech wouldn’t be the end of the world. 

It makes me wonder; did I really accomplish anything in my life? I spent lots of time in and out of hospitals, being their lab rat, being poked and prodded at with vaccines which never worked. I suggested a change of decor for the hospital’s front desk, though that didn’t go over well with the secretary. 

I’m the kind of guy who looks at death and says eh, you need to shave. I’m the kind of guy who watches tv, but never directs anything; drinks protein shakes in hopes of getting better from an incurable disease, never bothering to learn much about the disease itself.  

I wish I could blame it all on a curse. That should be the first line of the will of a guy who always complained. What good would a curse do—ask grandma. Words can say too little and too much at the same time…a little parable wisdom for you there. Even though I canceled the subscription at least twice, they still keep sending me emails. Is that a sign of some sort?

~

Covid-19. Coronavirus. Sars-something-something. Annoying pandemic. Pain in the #$%. It goes by many names, my death sentence. 

My mother got covid-19 first. Back then, the kitchen wasn’t charred black, and she insisted on making every meal when she visited the area. Maybe that was because of my fast-food diet seven days a week, 365 days a year, but she insisted, always going out for ingredients and such. Nothing scared her, my mother. Not pandemics, not taxes, not death. It was me who was scared, holding her vein-protruding hands, watching the ventilator suck out her life. 

Then it was my grandma. Then it was my father. Then it was my sister. Now, it’s me, but I don’t go so easy. 

They can’t even use the ventilators on me. They can’t help me at all, only offer a death sentence because my lungs are so clogged I won’t realize the effects until I drop dead. I know they tried their hardest with my family. If I wasn’t so preoccupied with the will, I would write them a letter of appreciation. Wait—-that would be stupid. 

At least I can marvel about the afterlife in the bittersweet comfort of my own home, counting down the days until I can see them again. 

~

Stupid parables. Stupid pink tutus. I want to believe in them, I honestly do. I still have no idea what the day is, but I don’t want to check. Is it fear or is it bravery? The radio will be coming on soon. Time to gather up my scratchy fingernails-on-chalkboard voice; I think they’re covering the number of cases in the United States today. 

~

In my room which I hardly ever leave, there isn’t much stuff. I crammed in a desk, a small mattress, a lamp, a whiteboard, and a few grocery bags. Most of the other rooms are locked, and the downstairs kitchen is a mess. I don’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve stepped outside, into the sinewy grass, the fresh air…

My only link to the outside world is a small square window, big enough that you can see outside, but smaller than the picture windows in the living room where I watch tv sometimes. When I’m bored, I watch the kids on the streets play basketball, maybe chuckle a bit at the raccoons which feast on open garbage cans. 

Entertainment is short-lived for a dead man like everything else is, except when looking outside. 

~

The kite came flapping along the sides of my house up against the window in the afternoon after I scratched off the beginning of my will and added it to the collection of dinged-up papers. The days were becoming something like a schedule. 

The kite got stuck though, all flip-flopping and such, and the screams came later after I had checked my emails at least ten times. One news email, three parables. None of them marked as read.

Standing up, I had looked outside and seen three kids clustering around my house, wailing about their kite which had gotten stuck in the window ledge. For someone who was dying, I have a lot of ‘compassion’, though I’ll leave the superhero work for another day; but once the kite dropped out of the window, it had gotten stuck on my porch. Sighing, I grabbed my robe and creaked the door open.  

~

I swear I saw the faint glimmer of a pink tutu when I stepped outside. The sunlight almost burned my eyes, but the feeling of grass slipping between my toes led me out onto the porch. 

While handing back the kite, I realized the world had changed. A few trees were missing, flowers were dangling off of people’s rooftops. My hedges hadn’t been cleaned in who-knows-how-long. And I realized wanted to live. 

Because the parables weren’t always right, that life would be okay all the time like fortune cookies and their printed wisdom, that my clogging lungs would always be a problem, filling upside with fluids and other stuff. The fact that I could never blame it on a curse. 

Because I swear the radio had been a little sun-kissed that morning and it said some good news about some recovery story or something. It wouldn’t be my recovery story, but it would mean something. Because the kite was flying, though a strand was missing on the side, and I wanted to rub my back on the grass and lie there, for a while. 

So I did, under what is a full moon at the moment. My time is coming soon. Not yet, but soon. I feel like dancing, under the full moon, but I choose to stay on the cool grass. Leave the bravery for mother, the craziness of curses for grandma and grandpop, the parables and pink tutus for myself.

~

I never understood why the crumpled papers always skittered around in a weird sort of circle under my desk. But I taped them to my walls today and wrote something like a will. 

Honestly, I’m not going to miss living, but I may miss parts of it. 

The walls look a lot like they’re painted now, with all those colored pen-marks dotting them, and all that Duct Tape. 

I think I like that. 

~

March 11, 2021 01:13

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60 comments

Radhika Diksha
07:51 Mar 15, 2021

I loved the switch between the narration. I loved the plot and how she thinks bout herself. The hope at the end of the story is amazing. you did a great job. Nice work.

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❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME A...

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12:54 Mar 13, 2021

Aw, thanks...you too! I'll pass this on :)

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Angel {Readsy}
20:08 Apr 06, 2021

After your above comment I am speechless

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Radhika Diksha
14:35 Mar 14, 2021

The new part is out. Would appreciate your comments on this.

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Michael Boquet
20:07 Mar 11, 2021

Your prose is so haunting. I love that the narrator almost views themself as a ghost even though they haven't yet died. I love the use of second-person at the beginning and the seamless transition to first person. I think I have a new favorite story of yours. Great job, well written and an enthralling read!

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21:06 Mar 11, 2021

Thank you so much, Michael! Wow, I'm so glad you liked reading this story...it means a lot to me when people take the time to comment on my stories.

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Rachel Loughran
14:19 Mar 11, 2021

Haunting and beautifully rendered. I didn't feel brave enough this week to write about the pandemic - but you nailed this.

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21:05 Mar 11, 2021

Thank you so much! I was hesitant about writing this story at the beginning, and my beginning thoughts about this story were very different from how it turned out. 😄

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Frances Reine
12:29 Mar 11, 2021

So many wonderfully phrased parables and earnest metaphors. Loveliest pacing there is. This one's so bare but definitely powerful. I could paste a whole lot of stuff that wedged through my heartstrings but that'd be a long comment. Wonderful representation of an individual who's bare of the reason to live, an individual who straightforwardly looks like: he couldn't care less, but there's a lot clogged up in there. It'd be impossible to fish everything out. Luckily I haven't run out of tutus OR parables yet. Fantastic job, Karina. Not lyi...

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14:15 Mar 11, 2021

Oh wow, thank you so much for such high praise!! I'm so glad you liked this...it's the first covid-19 story I've ever written. I guess it seems fitting though because it's been about a year since the whole thing started. Thank you so much, Frances!! This comment made my day

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Frances Reine
14:26 Mar 11, 2021

Well, your post made MY day so it's only fair ;)

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21:04 Mar 11, 2021

😊 Aw, thank you so much

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Nyx ⛥
13:24 Apr 26, 2021

I really loved this story! Also if you want to read it there is a part 3 to my story!

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Ryan Lm Colli
16:57 Apr 08, 2021

This is such a compelling story, raw, powerful, and real. Clear as glass but still sharp and stingy. You have an amazing talent for writing, especially when it comes to the emotion. The emotion is just so perfect with the words, and it flows through your mind like a surging river. I can tell this has a lot of effort into it, and I love your writing! Beautiful piece :)

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16:57 Apr 08, 2021

Aw, thank you so much!

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D. Owen
22:29 Mar 16, 2021

Intriguing read.

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00:10 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you so much!

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15:26 Mar 16, 2021

hi?

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15:35 Mar 16, 2021

Hi!

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15:46 Mar 16, 2021

deep in writer's block, any tips XD

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00:09 Mar 17, 2021

Ah, the old writer's block. It doesn't exist. Trust me, read this article. It changed my attitude towards writing. Really powerful message.😝https://www.ajhensley.com/post/conquering-writer-s-block

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14:33 Mar 18, 2021

oh, hi, i read the article, somehow got rid of the writer's block and went into story world SO SORRY i didn't say thank you sooner!, SORRY and THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!! Happy Today!

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15:12 Mar 16, 2021

This is amazing. You blew me away....

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15:36 Mar 16, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it :)

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how have you been doing?

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15:36 Mar 16, 2021

Good, how are you? I'm so glad to see you're back on reedsy!

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yeah, good I suppose... yeah, I'm kinda glad I've been back :)

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00:06 Mar 17, 2021

Awesome! Your new stories are both beautiful and breathtaking!

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thank you so much! That means a lot to me :)

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Marianna Mills
09:18 Mar 15, 2021

I love this story, what a wonderful essay into the prompt, smooth silky writing style, - love how you took us past - present, 2nd to 1st narrator, well done.

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15:15 Mar 15, 2021

Thank you so much!

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05:39 Mar 15, 2021

PART TWO OUT!

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Mazie Gray
20:08 Mar 14, 2021

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Radhika Diksha
17:21 Mar 13, 2021

Hey, I have come back. Starting a new series. Would love your comments and feedback. Hope you love this story.

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Ta-da! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AW...

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12:52 Mar 13, 2021

Thank you so much!! I can't believe all of the kindness I'm getting from this site. You guys make my day. I will definitely pass this on!

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Your kind too <333

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Mira Caplan
00:32 Mar 13, 2021

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME A...

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12:53 Mar 13, 2021

Oh wow, thank you so much! You're also an amazing author! I'll pass it on :)

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Palak Shah
23:46 Mar 12, 2021

I love how the narrator thought of themselves as a ghost; it is an amazing concept. I love the transition; it was smooth and unique. You have an amazing writer. Keep going :)) Also, could you please read my latest story and share some feedback on it. Hope we can be friends :)) Have a good day !!!

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12:53 Mar 13, 2021

Thank you so much! I'll try to read your story over the weekend. We can definitely be friends :)

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Palak Shah
13:28 Mar 13, 2021

Thank you so much :))

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21:17 Mar 12, 2021

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME A...

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21:22 Mar 12, 2021

Aw, thank you so much! I will! You're also an awesome author!

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21:23 Mar 12, 2021

No problem!! You too! Also, you're Owly right? Just double checking lol. :)

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21:35 Mar 12, 2021

Yup, I'm owly.

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23:44 Mar 12, 2021

Cool! How have you been? :)

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12:52 Mar 13, 2021

Good, how are you?

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